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PRECIOUS-Gold slips on steady dollar, but political tensions support

* Gold heads toward third straight quarterly rise

* Silver set to post 3.7 pct quarterly loss

* Platinum hits more than five-month low

* Palladium on track for biggest quarterly loss since end-2015

(Updates prices, adds analyst comment, adds NEW YORK to dateline) NEW YORK/LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Thursday as the U.S. dollar held its strong gains from the previous session, but simmering tensions over Russia and a potential trade war offered underlying support. Gold posted its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly nine months on Wednesday after robust U.S. data lifted the dollar, which steadied at those strong levels on Thursday.

Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,323.19 per ounce

level since March 21.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down

$2.70, or 0.2 percent, at $1,327.30 per ounce. "There was an easing of tensions in the Far East regarding North Korea, but there's still tension between the West and Russia ... this can boil over again and support gold," said Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. North Korea and South Korea will hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, South Korean officials said. Moscow threatened to retaliate after the United States and other Western countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England with a military-grade nerve toxin.

Concerns about a global trade war have eased but that does not mean it is over, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore. Often seen as an alternative investment at times of political and financial uncertainty, gold was on track for a third straight quarter of gains, up 1.6 percent so far. United States precious metals markets will be closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

Meanwhile, spot silver was up 0.25 percent at $16.30

per ounce after falling to $16.20, a one-week low. Silver was on track to post a quarterly loss of 3.7 percent after two quarters of modest gains.

Platinum dropped 0.3 percent to $928.50 per ounce,

after hitting $922.50, the weakest level since late December. The metal was down about 5.4 percent so far this month, on course to post its worst month since September.

Palladium lost 2.1 percent to $945.75 per ounce,

earlier hitting $938.22, its lowest level since Oct. 11, and was set to fall more than 9 percent this month, the steepest drop since December 2016. "Speculators had been quite bullish in palladium for a while, now paring back bets since palladium came down from recent highs," said Daniel Ghali, commodities strategist at TD Securities. For the quarter, palladium dropped 10.6 percent, its biggest quarterly loss since the end of December 2015.

(Reporting by Renita D. Young in New York and Eric Onstad in London, additional reporting by Swati Verma and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Adrian Croft and Matthew Lewis)